Movie review by Kelly Kessler, Common Sense Media
Chinatown Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 17+

Great hardboiled detective film is very violent.

R 1974 131 minutes

Parents say

age 15+

Based on 15 reviews

Kids say

age 14+

Based on 23 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 14+

A dark but incredible movie for smart kids

This is one of the best movies ever made! It is a beautiful and complex portrayal of 1930s Los Angeles with a plot that is far too complicated for me to go into right now. Suffice to say that this is a movie that you have to see if you love movies. I will say that I was a bit nervous about showing this to my 14 year old son. However, Common Sense Media has completely exaggerated the bad stuff that is in this movie. The violence, while present, isn't worthy of a five on that scale. It is brief and not any worse than something in a movie like Jaws or Indiana Jones. The nudity, while also present, is also very short. (Female breasts appear on screen for about 3 seconds, which is less than The Godfather and Schindlers List). Also, if you're worried about that, you need to realize that your kids can access porn very easily online, and that this isn't nearly as bad as some things they might see. In conclusion, Chinatown is a masterpiece and a movie that smart kids will probably really love. My son highly enjoyed it, and I will be showing it to my daughter when she is old enough. Happy watching!
age 15+


I gave chinatown 4/5 stars because of how greatly it was directed, first off i would like to say that roman Polanski worked miracles on this movie. after watching the movie you realize that there are so many sub plots and every little detail intertwining with eachother and the result is this wonderful movie. Polanski takes us through "Chinatown" through JJ Gittes perspective, an ex cop who has a history with "Chinatown". i like how the character is sort of isolated within the viewers perspective, it also enhances character development. the irony of the film is that although its named "Chinatown" theres only one scene in the film that actually takes place in Chinatown.

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